The restaurant world is going virtual with everything from iPads to the SmartBox.
Mobile commerce is working its way into brick and mortar shops, including restaurants, where servers and wait staff are starting to toss their paper notepads in favor of tablets and virtual options where smartphones can be used to pay the bill.
Just as computers have become a vital part of today’s restaurants, mobile commerce will be critical tomorrow.
These devices are helping to make restaurant experiences more profitable, efficient, consistent, and more convenient and enjoyable for the patrons. For example, smartphone payment app, Tabbedout, which is available for both Android and iOS smartphones, lets its users pay their bills using their devices.
This service works by allowing users to enter their credit card data in advance so they simply need to let the server know that this is their preferred method of payment so that they can provide them with an ID code and then use the smartphone to choose the card they wish to use to pay.
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This app not only allows the users to watch their bill in real time, but it also boosts security.
Moreover, many users like that when they are eating in a group, they can split the check individually or in whatever other way they want without having to perform the calculations at the table or have the server try to divide the total multiple ways.
Another concept for a mobile commerce app was created by Robb Myer in San Francisco. This was called NoWait and creates custom wait lists which allow diners to add their names to wait lists at their favorite restaurants and wait wherever they want. They receive a text message when their table is ready, so that they don’t need to mill around the entrance to the restaurant or wait in the bar for a table to open up. This app is already being used by restaurants in 31 states and in Canada.
The SmartBox, by zappit, is a device that can sit on restaurant tables and in hotel rooms. It is finding its way into various locations and uses QR codes as its primary mobile commerce element. Patrons simply scan the barcodes and they can discover the latest promotions, enter into contests, as well as join loyalty programs.